Sen Jennifer Fielder on emancipation of youth

Pogie put up a brief clip this morning chastising a woman, Montana State Senator Jennifer Fielder, who thinks kids would be better off out of school at age 16. Fielder only goes so far, presuming that kids are getting a good education in public schools. That’s highly debatable. But she has a good notion that people self-educate better than by means of the absorption/regurgitation process.

Why she thinks that this remarkable ability to learn and understand our environment doesn’t start until age 16, she does not say.*

So I agree with her only in part, that is, I think kids would be better off kept out of our public schools entirely while she favors forced schooling. As I watched the clip I thought I saw the workings of a good mind there, thoughtful even if rote in regard the role of government and “welfare,” saying in essence that government only exists to propagate itself. That’s treasured right-wing dogma. But that is expected, perhaps mandatory drivel.

Most of our twelve years of formal schooling are a waste of time and energy, a babysitting service but worse. I commented there as “School for the blind,”

Education as we know it, the Prussian model, is designed to crush curiosity and creativity, teach kids to trust and obey authority. You’re a product of it, Don, and so turn around and pay it down to those below you, knowing no other way.

I think it in the best interest of the kids, for their intellectual and creative development, to get them out of school and into a real learning environment, as much self-guided as such a thing is possible, that is, with guidance, but to the degree possible allowing the child to progress has his or her own interests and abilities dictate.

Anyone interested might check out the writings of John Taylor Gatto. The School Sucks Project is a good resource, libertarian in bent but overall highly informative.

I assume that comment will soon disappear.

Things that we do we do because that’s the way it’s done. We take kids from their best learning environment, home, at a young age, and place them in a rigid thought-controlled place where they learn to stand on line, keep quiet, read when told to read, and only what we tell them to read. Kids, naturally curious, sometimes rebel in that environment. So they invented a disease, ADHD or whatever alphabet soup they call it now, so that we can administer Ritalin to make them hold still.

But the natural reaction of a normal, bright, curious and inquisitive kid in that stilted environment is to rebel! It’s the ones that don’t rebel that we should worry about. Is there a drug to wake up curiosity? Would Pogie take it too?
*Sen Fielder also talks about the movement afoot, now and for decades, to put federal public lands under control of states. She echoes the usual justification, that the lands are not available for multiple use, that local people have no say in their use. That is not true by any stretch, but that argument merely masks the real agenda of this movement, to privatize these lands. Once that is done, trust me, we will have no access, and no say in their use. That’s a monstrous hidden agenda, and Fielder is either knowingly part of it, or a dupe. Judging by her demeanor, eyes steady and not darting rightward as she speaks (a tell that the lying process is going on), I think it the latter.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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5 Responses to Sen Jennifer Fielder on emancipation of youth

  1. Commenting to myself, I realize. This is an email I sent to Senator Fielder:

    Dear Ms. Fielder,

    Regarding your comments on the ongoing battle to bring federal lands under state control, a little history. Back in the late 90’s, similar legislation was in the air, at that time under management of State Senator Tom Keating of Billings. I had a chance to interview him on the matter, and as a follow-up he sent me literature and documentation, part of which was a letter he had written to legislators in Alaska about their mirror legislation.

    In that letter he stated, “The ultimate objective, of course, is to privatize these lands.”

    I doubt that has changed. Keating’s letter, when read before committee, had devastating effect.


  2. Steve W says:

    I have to disagree with your assumptions about education. . Just like the assumption (not yours) that government is bad, or good.

    Good government is good and bad government is bad. In other words, government is neither intrinsically good or bad. It’s as good or as bad as people make it.

    The same goes for homeschooling and for pubic schooling.

    But spending tax dollars on homeschooling is stupid. Because there is no way to account for the expenditures. I believe homeschooling should remain legal as available. It works well for some and poorly for others.

    In country after country without free public education we find high rates of illiteracy. I favor free public education through 4 years of college.


    • I didn’t necessarily mean “homeschooling,” as we know that most of that is merely an excuse for religious indoctrination without outside influence. I did say the home is the ideal environment, but I didn’t mean it that way.

      I object to the buildings, rooms, halls, bells, lines, subjects, tests, all done without regard to what might actually float a kid’s boat. Self-guided does not mean no guidance, and it does not necessarily mean at home. Gatto is good on this subject.


      • Steve W says:

        I’ve known too many teachers who successfully inspired too many students to be able to agree with you.

        I’ve seen kids who had wonderful and extremely successful home schooling experiences, but sometimes that’s not what happens.

        Right now we have a number of oligarchs attempting to over throw both good schools and bad to get at the money. Education, by it’a nature is always in flux and new or recycled ideas are proposed all the time as reform. Same as it’s always been.

        If you figure out the holy grail of education I’d love to hear it. But mostly it’s a lot of work by smart inspiring teachers, and getting through the less than inspiring ones and around over under and through bureaucracy when need be.

        The good ones actually teach critical thinking skills. I know, because my kids have had some good teachers. They also had some duds, occasionally.


        • Imagine those same teachers without the required curriculum and tests. There have always been good teachers and bright students. Our brick and mortar education system is designed to dumb kids down. That’s the whole point of the testing regime, to be sure that the kids only study approved subject matter. It’s thought control.


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